Inefficient retailers drive up costs

  • 2011-08-03
  • From wire reports

RIGA - Food products in Latvia still remain the most expensive in the Baltic countries; furthermore, it may be that Latvia’s residents have to overpay due to inefficient trade in Latvia, Agricultural Market Promotion Center’s head Inguna Gulbe said, reports Although food prices in Lithuania have increased very significantly, it has become quite customary that the Baltics’ least expensive food products can be bought in Vilnius stores, whereas the most expensive products are available in Riga.

On a list of more than 40 food products surveyed, Vilnius had the 21 cheapest and seven most expensive food products in the Baltics; Tallinn had the 14 cheapest and 18 most expensive products and Riga the seven cheapest and 21 most expensive products.

“Trade, which may be not efficient enough, plays an important role in this. Retailers often reproach Latvian producers for not making products at competitive prices, due to which they have to import these products, as they cost less. Nevertheless, price surveys show that many imported products, which are not produced in any of the Baltic countries, are also more expensive in Latvia, for instance, certain fruit and vegetables, tea, cereals, imported dairy products,” said Gulbe.

The Agricultural Market Promotion Center’s quarterly survey presents an in-depth analysis of price changes in Riga, Vilnius and Tallinn. The center was established in 1995 as a structural unit of the State Agrarian Economy Institute, it compiles and presents to the European Commission information on prices of certain agricultural products, which is then used for assessment of production of agricultural products and market situation, planning market interventions and setting customs values for agricultural products.